Test equipment vendor Keithley Instruments (Cleveland, Ohio) has two new multi-channel source-measure test cards, offering expanded operating ranges, for its existing Model 4500-MTS Multi-Channel I-V Test System.
Each Model 4510- and Model 4511-QIVC (Quad I-V Card) now provides four source-measure channels in each of nine slots of the Model 4500-MTS PCI mainframe, permitting up to 36 I-V measurement channels. The Model 4500-MTS and its Quad I-V cards can make these measurements in a fraction of the time (and at a fraction of the cost) of a comparable rack-and-stack system.
The Model 4500-MTS is used for automated testing in multi-head (multi-DUT) production test environments, such as those involving stress-measure, life testing, and general device characterization.
Typical applications use its source-measure capabilities to generate I-V curves, measure the resistance of DUTs (devices under test) such as MEMS and circuit protection diodes, and characterize other passive and active devices.
The system can also be used as a multi-channel power supply for sourcing and measuring voltages or currents during functional test of devices such as RFICs and photonic ICs.
A variety of instruments, from Keithley and other vendors, can interface with the 4500-MTS to complement its I-V and power supply capabilities.
The Model 4500-MTS can solve difficult measurement problems if you're testing multiple devices, or multiple channels on a single device simultaneously, under many different test conditions. In a typical application, a dozen or more devices are loaded into a test fixture and electrical data is collected at thousands of source-measure test points on each device.
The use of multiple rack-and-stack instruments in such applications is very expensive, and typically slows down data collection, due to data communications over GPIB IEEE-488 busing. This system is also physically small, as this photo shows.
Unlike other modular test systems, Keithley's Model 4500-MTS system is optimized for low-noise high-current sourcing, while maintaining a well-controlled environment for sensitive measurements.
Each channel of these cards offers a high-power current-source sub-channel, a low-power voltage-source sub-channel, and a 5-1/2 digit A/D converter for reading a DUT's response to a source stimulus.
The Model 4510 Card has three full-scale (FS) output ranges of ±30-mA, ±100-mA, and ±500-mA. The Model 4511 Card has three FS output ranges of ±100-mA, ±300-mA, and ±1-A. Otherwise, the cards are identical, including their ±10-V DC FS voltage-source sub-channels.
Each card also has a microcontroller running a realtime operating system (RTOS) with on-board measurement memory, so it can act autonomously during a test sequence, or work synchronously with other Series 4500 cards by timing source-measure activities with the trigger bus.
Each sub-channel has mechanical relays to isolate its output and measurement circuitry from the DUT, thereby permitting multiplexing between the current-source sub-channel and voltage-source sub-channel.
These cards expand the functions of earlier Model 4500 Quad I-V cards. The low-noise voltage source sub-channel maximum output has been increased from 5-V to 10-V. The current measurement sensitivity on these sub-channels is also extended to include a 10-µA range.
These range extensions and low-noise signals are useful for high resistance measurement and leakage tests (such as when calculating R=V/I).
The Models 4510 and 4511 Quad I-V cards are also designed to work with the system's new Immediate-mode Measurements capability. Immediate Mode measurements are desirable when testing requires constant monitoring of forward voltage and adjustment of drive current.
When the test application doesn't require the full complement of nine 4510/4511 cards, the open PCI platform of the Model 4500-MTS permits other slots to be used for PCI cards that provide additional functions and customization.
Moreover, the system's modular nature lets it be adapted quickly to emerging test requirements. Keithley claims the result is a compact, fast, tightly integrated system of customized test capabilities at a cost/channel not available in other test system designs.
Extensive Driver Support
The system provides driver support for LabVIEW, VisualBASIC, LabWindows/CVI, and any development environment that can call a DLL (Dynamic Link Library). The driver also has features that make it easier to control a large number of channels, and you're shielded from the fine details of embedded controller programming. You won't have to learn a new language or process.
Price and Availability
Keithley says its Model 4510- and Model 4511-Quad I-V cards are available immediately starting at just under $8000 each. Pricing for a Model 4500-MTS mainframe start at less than $9000.
For more information on these cards or the associated I-V test system, contact Keithley Instruments, 28775 Aurora Rd., Cleveland, Ohio 44139-1891. Phone: 888-534-8453, or 440-248-0400. Fax: 440-248-6168. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to learn more? Go to Keithley's Web site.